Luckily, none of these legendary traits are attached to age. Even though most people think of major accomplishments happening earlier on in life, many artists’ second, third and even fourth acts have resulted in record-breaking, chart-topping feats.
The truth is, age plays less of a role in success than we’ve been led to believe. Some might even argue that the older we are, the more equipped we are to achieve and handle success.
To inspire your own later-in-life achievements, we’re sharing a few of our favorite stars who achieved or maintained their legendary status as seniors.
1. Tina Turner
Tina Turner started her singing career in the 1950s with a string of hits alongside Ike Turner. She enjoyed success as half of the duo, but didn’t reach true global superstardom until she ventured out as a solo act years later.
In 1984, at the age of 45, she released her first solo record, Private Dancer, and went on to win three Grammys and go on a sold-out worldwide tour.
Her success grew over the years, and in 2008 she went on a 90-show, 50th anniversary tour — a sold-out success — at the age of 70. With her decade-spanning career and immense success, Turner ignored age and followed her dreams with a determination and vigor that we all could learn from.
Turner’s story has become legendary — so much so that the Broadway musical based on her life, Tina: The Tina Turner Musical, has been announced to return to the stage this year.
2. Rod Stewart
Rocker Rod Stewart had long been a part of the music industry before his career really took off. He started performing in the 1960s. He was a part of several bands over the years, gaining success here and there. He started approaching greater success in the ‘70s with the group Faces.
Now in his 70s, he continues to perform live, and recently announced a residency at The Colosseum Caesars Palace — further proof that age is no limiting factor when it comes to success.
3. Morgan Freeman
Morgan Freeman has been in the entertainment industry since the 1960s, as both a dancer and actor, though he didn’t pursue acting full time until 1976 when he explored stagework. He made his way to TV in the ‘70s and started filming movies in the ‘80s.
Though his early work gained good reviews, he was often a supporting character. His performances continued throughout the ‘90s and into the 2000s, when he won his first Academy Award in 2004 at the age of 67. At 84, he’s still a Hollywood heavy-hitter with several movies in pre- and post-production. No doubt, Freeman has one of the most iconic voices and impressive resumes in the industry.
4. Helen Mirren
Helen Mirren began her theatrical career in England in the 1960s. She turned her on-stage success into film roles in the ‘60s as well, but did not truly become a chart-topping actress until the late ’90s and 2000s. She crossed the pond and began starring in more American films, and in 2006 she had her biggest success with the film The Queen, winning a BAFTA, a Golden Globe and an Academy Award at the age of 61. She didn’t slow down after her win. Instead, she kept up her momentum with a string of critically acclaimed movies, including action-packed films and biopics.
Today, Mirren continues to star in a wide range of film and television productions that demonstrate her ability to portray a wide range of roles, from the Fast and Furious series to nature documentaries.
5. Samuel L. Jackson
Samuel L. Jackson is one of the most prolific actors of our time, having starred in over 150 movies. He’d been acting since the ‘70s, but didn’t get his mainstream breakout role until 1994 at the age of 46. He continued his success through the ‘90s and well into the 2000s.
Now, at 72, Samuel L. Jackson is as in-demand as ever, playing a significant role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, along with other high-profile film roles.
The path to success might be a long one, as evidenced by these powerhouse talents, but it’s not impossible. You might not want to be the next rockstar or big screen actor, but there are valuable lessons to be learned from their careers that you can apply to your own life.
For starters, persistence is key. If there’s something you want to do, always find a way to keep it at. No matter how big or small a step you take, every effort toward your goal counts. And of course, always remember age is just a number. You’re never too old to achieve your goal, and achieving it later in life doesn’t make success any less sweet.
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